2013 has been a great year for MMA so far, especially for those of us who are quite partial to the occasional knockout. From spinning head kicks, to brutal uppercuts and elbows-2013 has been jam packed with all of the above and more. Check out my personal picks for the top five KO’s of this year as we approach the mid-way point.
5. Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve
The Super Samoan is known for his incredible knockout power, and never was it better displayed than at UFC on Fuel this past March. Hunt had been connecting with power shots all through out the fight against Struve, and the Dutch skyscraper was starting to wobble. Struve was gassing and visibly slowing, then in stepped with an absolutely brutal left hook. The punch shattered Struve’s jaw and crumpled him against the fence. As is the norm in most of Hunt’s wins, The Super Samoan calmly walked away. Struve was done and Hunt would go on to earn himself a contender fight against Junior Dos Santos.
4. Savant Young vs. Mike Guymon
Bellator 85 played host to Savant Young vs. Mike Guymon, and ‘Black Superman’ delivered one of the more brutal knockouts of the year. Young’s record stands at 11-9, not overly impressive- but this guy can really hit hard. He caught Guymon coming in with a thunderous left hook to the jaw, Guymon was out before he hit the floor and was hit with a Dan Henderson-esque diving right hand on the mat.
3. Emanuel Newton vs. King Mo
Not many people knew who Emanuel Newton was before his fight with King Mo at Bellator 90. His record stood at 19-7-1 from mostly regional MMA shows, causing him to come in as a heavy underdog against Lawal, who was 9-1 (1) at the time. It just goes to show that records mean squat in a sport that can end in a millisecond. Two minutes in to round one and Newton throws a hail Mary spinning back fist, catching Lawal flush on the jaw. The former Strikeforce champion was out instantly, and looked like a falling redwood on the way down.
2. Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
If you are a fan of highlight reel knockouts, you know how deadly Vitor Belfort is. He has knocked out some of the best fighters on the planet in spectacular fashion, but his spinning heel kick against Luke Rockhold really tops them all. The two met at UFC on FX, from Brazil in May, in a highly anticipated bout. Rockhold had really lit a fire under Belfort with his pre fight jibes about TRT. Rockhold labelled Belfort a ‘steroid cheat’ and even initiated a weigh-ins scuffle with The Phenom. When it finally came down to the fight, Belfort landed a perfectly placed spinning heel kick, which sent Rockhold to the mat with his eyes rolling. A few finishing punches and Belfort proved that age is but a number.
1. Antonio Silva vs. Alistair Overeem
Bigfoot and Overeem had a very heated rivalry in the lead up to their UFC 156 Heavyweight clash. Overeem said that he was by far the better fighter, and that he had no respect for Silva’s skills. Silva was a massive underdog, and needed a big win to prove his worth in the UFC’s elite. What transpired was one of the biggest upsets as well as one of the most brutal KO’s of all time. Overeem dominated Bigfoot for the first two rounds. Out-gunning the Brazilian for the duration, Reem felt confident enough to drop his hands and try to land potshots. Bad idea. As Overeem started to tire, he realized that he had created a monster out of Silva. The giant Brazilian landed uppercut after savage uppercut followed by huge straight punches against the cage. Overeem was obliterated and crumpled to the mat, eating more shots on the way down. His chin had betrayed him again, and The Reem had no-one to blame for the way that Silva had caught him but himself.
Thanks for checking out my top five KO’s of 2013 so far, be sure to let me know if I missed out any of your top five!